The WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) is offering two young jazz composers paid, professional development opportunities to develop new works and enhance music writing and conducting skills. Such opportunities are rarely offered in Australia.

WAYJO continues to support composers and generate original Australian content through its unique Composer-in-Residence program, presented for the twelfth consecutive year in 2020.

WAYJO’s Composer in Residence program annually supports two young, emerging composers to develop new works for large jazz ensemble, offering both generous commission fees and artistic mentorship.

The program is run under the guidance of WAYJO’s Artistic Director, Dr Mace Francis (winner – APRA/AMCOS Jazz Work of the Year and international Scrivere in Jazz prize; finalist – Freedman Jazz Fellowship; nominee – Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards).

“Working with talented young Australian composers to bring their new works to life is a highlight in the WAYJO Wednesday Night Orchestra calendar. I am always amazed at what young people can create when they work together in a safe, focused and creative space. I look forward to hearing what is created again in 2020.” – Dr Mace Francis.


COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE is open to any jazz composer aged 30 years or younger (as at 1st January 2020), residing in Australia. $4,000 is offered to develop three new, original compositions. Flights and accommodation included (unless a resident of the Perth metropolitan area).

ASSOCIATE COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE is open to any jazz composer aged 21 years or younger (as at 1st January 2020), residing in Western Australia. $2,000 is offered the Associate to develop two new, original compositions.

Both positions offer professional advice and mentoring, opportunities to rehearse and perform with WAYJO’s premier 18-piece big band, and an opportunity to premier the works at the 2020 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival.

This program is open to all Australian composers (citizens and permanent residents). Successful applicants will be required to compose the works (each six to eight minutes in duration) by Monday June 8, 2020, for performance by the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra Wednesday Night Orchestra.


Applications open Monday 18 November, 2019 and close Friday 17 January, 2020 at 5.00pm AWST. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 24 January, 2020.

Please Note: The WAYJO offices will be closed for the holidays Friday 20 December, 2019 to Wednesday 8 January, 2020.

Find Out More

For more information, please visit, or contact the WAYJO office during business hours on +61 8 9471 1950.


2019 Composer in Residence Scott van Gemert leading his work at 2019 King St Corner Pocket Jazz Festival – Photos by Eliza Cowling.


Media Contact

Justine Thornley, WAYJO Marketing
+61 8 9471 1950